Balliol JCR will play an important part in your undergraduate life. It will provide you with a world-class restaurant (Pantry), great Entertainment (Entz), a bar for you to drink, play pool and dance to the jukebox in, and a laundry to wash your sweaty clothes afterwards. There’s an office and committee to provide services such as assistance with accommodation and represent you to College on issues like rents and academic affairs – in fact anything that the student body is concerned with.
The JCR is one of the most active in the university. It has by far the largest annual turnover, and is the only JCR to run its own bar and pantry. So you are likely to spend a lot of time there (JCR stands for junior common room, and is used to refer to both the institution that represents undergraduate members, and the room where they hang out). That people spend a lot of time in the JCR is a good thing, at other colleges where the JCRs are less active, the JCR and bar tend to be deserted, meaning less opportunities to meet people and less opportunities to have a GREAT TIME.
The day to day running of the JCR is dealt with by the Committee, who are elected on the 6th Saturday of Michaelmas Term and serve for a year. That’s only 7 weeks after you arrive, but quite a few freshers run for posts and get elected each year. If you’re interested in helping run the JCR, don’t feel intimidated – just get involved. If you have any questions about the JCR or want something changed then don’t hesitate to speak to somebody on the committee who can give you advice on how best to go about it.
The official college website can be found at www.balliol.ox.ac.uk.